Death and Your Digital Legacy

This image is no longer available

We have an increasing digital tattoo. Our time spent online, in fact, is time spent building a record of sorts. When we own accounts in Facebook or Flikr, or we post to YouTube, we are creating a digital footprint.

But when the owner of these accounts pass the mortal coil, what becomes of the data?

There are a number of questions to consider, including:

– Your Facebook page can be turned into a digital memorial – or deleted – but does anyone have the password? Is your family aware of what you want done with it?

– Business sites are usually tied to a single user and credit card. Do you have a system in place for it to transition or be closed down? What about the URL — and how do you plan to deal with the web site name?

– Our photo sharing sites often contain massive numbers of photos. In some cases we use them as our online backup — and in fact they are sometimes the only record of precious photos. Who knows how to access them to take over the account and assure your family retains the images?

– Online collaborative tools, such as Google Docs, may contain sensitive or crucial data.

So many questions, and we are just now begining to see the issues.

What do you think? Have you included your digital wishes in your will?

We did a great interview with Adele McAlear of Death and Digital Literacy.

Photo © Christine Glade

Steve Dotto is Canada’s most respected geek. Dotto Tech is the Radio Show for Zoomers! Each week Steve discusses the impact of technology in our lives, from a Zoomers perspective. You can listen to all or part of the show at
visit Steve Dotto online